Author Archives: Ron McFarland

About Ron McFarland

Ron McFarland has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Idaho since 1970. Pecan Grove Press published his fourth full-length book of poems, Subtle Thieves, in 2012. Recent critical books include Appropriating Hemingway (2015) and Edward J. Steptoe and the Indian Wars (2016).

The Impresario of Readings

By Ron McFarland

She could not, would not fly. This poet, whose books boasted such titles as Cruelty and Killing Floor and most recently Sin was, it seemed, afraid to fly. At that moment twenty-odd years ago, she embodied the very definition of edginess and wrath and poetic violence. But she would not fly. Continue reading

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Ice versus Fly

When I arrived in Idaho more than forty years ago, I swore I would not allow myself to fall prey to the allure and blandishments of fly-fishing enthusiasts. I would not yield to the mystique. I felt the whole business was too darned precious, a tad too hoity-toity. Also, fly fishing would doubtless require a pricey set of waders, a costly fly rod, a broad array of feathery insects (not cheap), and exotic volumes of arcana dating back to Sir Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton. If I were to “get involved” with this ostensibly fair maiden, it could prove risky in various ways. Instead of the reliable, stationary, bank-fishing mistress I’d courted over the years, I would find myself incessantly rambling along the banks of rivers and creeks, splashing across snot-slippery rocks in icy mountain streams. I would fall head over heels, and not necessarily in love. I would need to access an entirely different langue d’amour having to do with everything from tippets to matching the hatch, from roll-casting to where-the-hell-did-that-willow-come-from? She seemed out of my league. I could imagine myself whispering regretfully one evening as the mayflies hatched and I tied on a Light Cahill with my newly-mastered clinch knot, “This is getting too complicated.” Continue reading

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